Further description:-  Initial studies 

Glossary Entry
the first step to be done is to obtain all immediately available information on the relevant site. 
The primary objective is to identify both the nature and physical location of the potential sources
of contamination. It comprises the collection of historical data on use of the site, including information
on possible listing of the site, the acquisition of geological and hydrological data for the area,
a site visit, an assessment of the data collected and a hypothesis on possible contamination.
Initial Studies

Initial Studies


1. Summary


Although each investigation is unique most investigations include the following steps: (1) definition of objectives (2) collection of existing data (including literature review),  (3) field investigations and sampling, (4) laboratory analysis (5) data interpretation and conclusions, and (6) report preparation and recommendations. Failure to follow these steps may result in excessive cost and, in the worst case rejection of the study results as inadequate.


  1. Important steps


Important steps are:

-          to gather existing site information

-          conduct preliminary site visit

-          gather site data and reports (e.g. site maps, aerial photographs, historical ownership information, facility or site related geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, climatology, ecology and demographic information, land use information, results of previous site studies, data quality control data, known influence of other nearby sites)

-          collect background literature

-          conduct site history interviews


Of particular interest during the evaluation of site information should be the sites physical characteristics, the physical and chemical characteristics of the potential contaminants of interest and the likely transport pathways. The initial studies should be sufficient to identify a preliminary conceptual site model (CSM) of the site.




Stefan Gödeke
Universität Tübingen, Germany

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